Industry Newsline - July 2008

Industry Newsline

NEW CASTROL PROGRAM

Wayne, NJ-based BP Lubricants USA Inc. has launched a new program for the fast-lube industry. It’s designed to accelerate operator growth by leveraging the power of the Castrol brand. Castrol Premium Lube Express has been built from extensive research and proven marketing strategies. The program is designed to help busy operators grow their business by increasing car counts, ticket average, and customer satisfaction.

The new program allows fast-lube operators to capitalize on a national brand with a strong customer loyalty. Proprietary Castrol research indicates that 91 percent of consumers will try a Castrol-branded quick lube. Further, 69 percent would consider it as a replacement for their current quick lube outlet. Research has shown that Castrol consumers use the highest mix of premium and super premium products among the competitive set, which means Castrol Premium Lube Express operators are likely to increase their tickets by attracting these customers.

The Castrol Premium Lube Express program has several core components that encourage business growth. These include an imaging package, a proprietary training program, a mystery shopper program, and customized management software program. There are several additional complementary programs operators can choose from. For more information on the program, contact Castrol at (888) CASTROL or visit www.Castrol PremiumLube.com/partners on the web.

ICS EXPANDS SALES COVERAGE

Wind Gap, PA-based Innovative Control Systems has announced the addition of new Mid-Atlantic (Charlotte, NC) and Southwest (Dallas, TX) offices to complement the realigned Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, and Western territories.

Operators and distributors will enjoy increased “local” access to sales resources that know how to help jump-start an existing business, or assist in building a new site. Jim Rowland, who has a strong track record of success in the Northeast region, now assumes responsibility for the Western region. Rowland’s background in technical support with ICS also brings valuable operations expertise to customers’ businesses.

Mike Matthews (Mid-Atlantic) and Mark Payne (Southwest) recently joined ICS with more than three decades of broad industry experience between them. Brad Metcalf has been promoted to manager of the Northeast region. Metcalf has more than two decades of industry experience, including development and operation of his own car wash business. He most recently held the position of marketing manager with ICS.

Jeff Wizer has been promoted to manager of the Midwest region, after building a reputation for technical support excellence over the past seven years with ICS. Mark Walker joined the ICS team in its Atlanta office in 2007, working with his father, Joe, and Nat Burton, both of whom have retired after long and distinguished careers with ICS. Walker was promoted to Southeast regional manager this year, and carries on the tradition of superior sales support set by his father and Nat.

FPI EXPANDS SERVICES

Evergreen Park, IL-based Florida Plastics International (FPI), a visual merchandising supplier since 1965, has announced a new corporate structure under the name Keyser Group. The new organization reflects the company’s growth and expanded capabilities.

Keyser Group encompasses four separate business units, each specializing in unique merchandising solutions. The units are Keyser Visual (provides visual merchandising solutions to the restaurant, auto-care and retail industries), Keyser InterActive (designs and manufactures InterActive play devices that combine physical activity with a computer-based game experience), Keyser Personal Care (creates licensed and private label personal care products), and Florida Plastics International (serves and supplies McDonald’s Corporation exclusively).

Keyser Visual — the largest of the business units — provides customers a wide range of services, from product design, manufacturing and installation, to graphics, printing, and merchandising. “While menu boards and signage systems are still the mainstay of our business,” said president and COO Judy Haselberger, “we provide our customers with a single source for turnkey solutions making it easy for them to enhance branding, speed transactions, reduce costs, and drive profitable sales at the point of purchase.”

ASCO AND NUMATICS MERGE

ASCO and Numatics, business units of Emerson Industrial Automation, have merged operations in North America to form ASCO Numatics, a unified company that offers comprehensive flow control and pneumatics solutions for a wide range of industry-focused applications.

The ASCO Numatics product line in North America consists of more than 50,000 valves, an extensive selection of air preparation equipment, and a comprehensive set of position indicators. ASCO products include solenoid pilot valves, angle body piston valves, linear and rotary indicators, valve monitoring systems, redundant control systems, and pressure sensors. The Numatics line covers valve manifolds, filters, regulators, lubricators, and dryers.

For more information about ASCO Numatics products, visit www.asconumat ics.com.

EXPORTER OF THE YEAR

Automotive International of Cincinnati, OH, has been awarded a 2008 Think Global/Commercial News USA Exporter of the Year award from Think Global Inc., publisher of Commercial News USA, the official export promotion magazine of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Commercial News USA is a catalog-style magazine distributed to an estimated 400,000 readers in 176 countries. Awards are given to one U.S. company in each of 15 industry categories. Privately held
Automotive International was named Exporter of the Year in the Automotive/Aviation/Marine category.
Winners were chosen based on the total number of documented export deals completed in 2006, total percentage increase in sales in 2006 compared to 2005, exports as percentage of total sales, the company’s commitment to exporting, the company’s commitment to customer service, and the company’s innovation and originality in marketing products or services.

Automotive International distributes environmental-protection chemicals, prep/reconditioning chemicals, body shop compounds/polishes, and retail car care chemicals for the automobile industry. The company reported a 73 percent increase over 2005 in total export sales for 2006. Exports now represent 23 percent of the company’s total sales.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY EXPO

The North American Operating Division of Schneider Electric plans to host a multi-industry trade expo focused on energy efficiency. Titled Initi@tive 2008, the expo is to be held August 13-15, 2008 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. The event will draw attention to new technologies available to help businesses do more with less energy, meet code compliance and legislative requirements, and prepare for future trends.

This marks the second time Initi@tive will take place in the United States. Schneider Electric has hosted successful Initi@tive events in Australia, China, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey and, in 2006, Orlando, FL. Initi@tive 2008 will provide key decision-makers with solutions to help manage, monitor, protect, distribute, automate, and control electricity.

In addition to 100 educational seminars, Initi@tive 2008 will feature industry-specific exhibits, where visitors will get the opportunity to interact with a wide range of solutions via displays in the exhibit hall. For more information about Initi@tive 2008, visit www.initia tive2008.net.

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